The Charlotte News

Monday, February 21, 1938


Site Ed. Note: The rest of the page is here.

Three in the News

Three names, famous and infamous, figure in the news today. Two of them take up the front pages, and the third is very far back in the inside. They are:

Lord Hitler

Hitler, in his address to the universe yesterday, said at least two things that are of immediate interest to the United States, and which in fact seem addressed to us.

The first was that he thoroughly approved of the Japanese policy in China, and that he hoped for a much closer collaboration between Germany and Japan in the Pacific. And the second was that Germany asserted and was determined to maintain the policy of following people of German blood everywhere in the world and "protecting" them.

The first we take to be a warning. And the second amounts to a denial of the sovereignty of this government over the several million German-born people now on this soil--and to more. What he probably had in mind, above all, was the Monroe Doctrine and the millions of Germans he has planted in Brazil for the purpose of bringing that country under Nazi control.

The action of the British Cabinet yesterday makes President Roosevelt's Chicago speech regarding a "quarantine" of "aggressors" by "domestic nations" slightly ridiculous. But for all that, we think the President is not likely to have much difficulty in putting over his naval program.

Mr. Eden

If we were to take the Neville Chamberlain Cabinet as representative, and accept the reason almost unanimously advanced by the correspondents for the extraordinary policy which caused Mr. Eden to resign yesterday, we'd have to accept point-blank Napoleon's dictum that the English are "a nation of shopkeepers"--so greedy of commercial gain that they'll sell their grandmothers to get it.

But the crowds in Downing Street yesterday suggest pretty clearly that the Chamberlain Cabinet is not in fact representative. And, despite the correspondents, it seems a little unbelievable that the cynical deal under which, in violation of England's pledged word, Germany is to get Austria and Czechoslovakia and Italy is to get Spain, is motivated purely by the commercial interests of London's "City," which the Cabinet represents. What seems more likely is that these men have actually been snared by the naive propaganda that fascism is a bulwark against communism. That's incredible, too? Not if you remember John Galworthy's portrait of Soames Forsyte, an almost exact double in his antecedents for Neville Chamberlain.

Greed is, at least within its narrow limits, usually realistic and clear-eyed. And we must suppose some powerful ideological obsession to explain the apparent blindness of the Cabinet to the fact that the dictator's promises are long since proven worthless, and that this deal is certain to alienate the United States, and in the end lay the British Empire wide open to the destruction fascism has long deliberately planned.


Arturo Toscanini is not a politician but the world's greatest living conductor of symphony. The stooge newspapers of his native land, Italy, reminded him sternly of that yesterday--reminded him, too, that he was once slapped by Black Shirts for declining to play the Fascist Hymn--and suggested that if he knew what was good for him he'd recant his decision not to take part in this year's musical festival at Salzburg because of Nazi bullying of Austria.

The obvious retort for Toscanini, who spends most of his time in these States anyhow, is to go and turn American citizen. We'd be proud to claim him. But perhaps he feels that it is necessary to remain an Italian lest the world forget that there was once an Italy in which the humiliating of a brave and honest and artistic man was not accounted a thing to boast of.

Not First, But Second

By the Uniform Crime Reports of the FBI, we see that Atlanta, drat her, has crowded us out of first place among American cities for murder and non-negligent homicide. In 1937 she had 246 such cases, or an average of about 46.5 per 100,000 people. In the same year, according to this report, we had 37, or, say, about 40 per 100,000.

But we're still safely in second place. And second is no mean performance in this league. For instance, we had more than three times as many cases as Boston, even with its 781,000 people! Or, again, our average of 40 per 100,000 stands against the national average of 6.7 for cities of our size, or 3.5 for such towns on the Pacific Coast; or 19.5 for all our South Atlantic towns of the same category; or 1.2 for like towns in New England!

Well, but you know an easy answer to all that? The black man in our midst? All right, explain this: Columbia, with a population of 52,000 at the last census, had six murders and non-negligent homicides; Jackson, Miss., with a population of 48,000 had six; Durham, a blacker town than ours, with a population of 52,000, had 11; Winston-Salem, black man's heaven in these parts, had 22; Mobile, with a population of 118,000, had 26; Memphis, black, bad Memphis, with 253,000 inhabitants, had 36, one less than we had; and New Orleans, with nearly half of its 459,000 people made up of Negroes, had--79!

Site Ed. Note: For more on Father Divine, as well as his compeer in Charlotte, see "Heaven Changes Hands", March 5, 1938; for more on Father Divine and his battle over Krum Elbow, across the way from the President's digs on the Hudson at Hyde Park, see "Tempest in a Teapot", August 6, 1938, and "Casual Man", June 18, 1939.

Also, for parallels in the paranormal, see the bottom end of our note associated with August 13, 1938. The question arises as to who might be the ghost exerting its impact: the beller or the bellee, the bell itself--or maybe the bellow's echo?

Speaking of confusing ghosts: try this one by Ambrose Bierce, "The Mocking-Bird". Did the soldier shoot literally his twin, himself, a doppelganger, or no one, only in conformance to a continuing dream? Is the story merely an allegory for the Civil War?

Two Pretty Businesses

The beauty about the gold mining business is that there's no middleman to cut in on the swag. You take the ore out of the ground, you separate the gold-bearing flakes by flotation, you smelt 'em down, and when the dross is fired off you have a remainder that's money in any man's language. The gold brick poured out at the Capps Hill gold mine Saturday, the first produced, will go to Washington and be exchanged for a check drawn on the United States Treasury. No sales department is necessary, and there are no wholesalers and retailers to deal with.

It's a pretty business, all right, and if the Capps Hill mine bears out the appraisal and the expectation of its entrepreneurs, it and other mines in this gold-bearing area may ultimately comprise a revived industry of such proportions as to add measurably to the wealth of the Carolinas, especially of Charlotte.

Nor is that the only pretty business developing in which Charlotte has a proprietary interest. Its own Bishop Grace, the "Black Christ" and head of the House of Prayer for all the People, is carrying competition in Salvation straight to Harlem's Father Divine. Seventy years ago the South had visited upon it a plague of carpetbaggers. Now, at last, we are about to get even through the medium of one dark man carrying a Gladstone bag.

The Perfect Monument*

Not only a handsome but a thoroughly practical and Christian memorial to the late William States Lee will be the charity wing of the Presbyterian Hospital made possible by the gift of Mrs. Lee and Martin Lee. We can imagine no form of memorial which would better project Mr. Lee's personality throughout succeeding generations. He was a builder, and this monument to him will be wrought from bricks and mortar. He was a creator of the useful, and there will be thousands of grateful persons to testify to the uses of hospital treatment for the indigent and the unfortunate. He was a practitioner of the science of engineering, and it is a happy inspiration that the wealth he accumulated in his profession is to be an augmentative factor in the science and practice of medicine.

As to the generosity of Mrs. Lee and her son, this, too, is a further appropriate projection of Mr. Lee's character. The community is to gain from the memorial to his life as it did from that life itself.

One More Prediction

The last time we risked what's left of our reputation as major prophet, it was on the exceedingly hardy prediction that Max Gardner, for all his having cold-shouldered the unoffered job of czar of the New York Stock Exchange, would take it. The more we think about that, the poorer guess we think it is. And so as to hedge, sort of, and to preserve our prestige as prognosticators, we are going to make another bold prophecy.

Cotton and tobacco farmers will vote March 12 on the proposition of invoking or not invoking the new farm law's sales quotas which farmers may not exceed without paying a heavy penalty. We predict right now that it carries. In fact, we'll give odds of two to one it carries, even though a two-thirds vote of farmers participating is necessary. Any takers?

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